Students prepare for next year’s courses


Abby Stephens

Home Access Center (HAC) is one of the main ways students and their parents can access their classes and upcoming news about their courses and grades.

Despite second semester having just begun, upcoming course selection meetings are already encouraging current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to consider their schedules for next year. Posted last week, counselor appointments with students regarding course selection for the 2018-2019 school year will run through Friday, Feb. 2. With so many courses to choose from, it can often be stressful choosing which classes to take.

“We are lucky that we can offer so many interesting elective options,” said Mr. Aurich, guidance counselor. “There are just so many different things [students] want to try and not enough time.”

A main focus for many students is choosing the popular AP or honors classes offered in attempt to boost their GPA. While these classes can benefit students, often counselors advise against choosing classes strictly based on rigor.

“Students would do well to try to put anxiety aside and just choose electives that match their curiosity and interests,” Mr. Aurich said. “Although it can be difficult, block out the ‘white noise’ of others telling which electives matter more or are better than others.  All have something valuable to offer.”

For specific departments, such as the Social Studies Department, there is an abundance of courses to choose from, many of which are only a semester long.

“I usually tell students to think about what interests them the most because there are options for those who are interested in economics and business, law and government, and studying society and the individual,” said Ms. Patel, Social Studies Department. “If you don’t know what you’re interested in you can pick two classes that focus on different topics.” 

Abby Stephens
This time of year, students meet in the guidance office with their counselor, discussing their future classes and setting goals to achieve each year.

For current juniors looking to complete their senior year schedule, course selection can be particularly difficult.

“I am a little stressed to choose my classes for senior year because there are so many options to choose from in every subject,” said Shalini Sahgal, junior. “This year is more stressful than previous years because there are classes I want to take, but also classes that I should take to prepare for college.”

While most incoming seniors have already completed the necessary courses required for graduation, many still choose to continue taking core classes.

“Although Social Studies is not required all four years to graduate I know most students choose to take the courses offered in this department because they feel the topics being discussed connect to their daily lives,” Ms. Patel said. “As juniors, it is tough to narrow down what Social Studies classes to take senior year because of the wide array of options.”

It’s also important to be aware of the numerous courses that aren’t as popular among students but are encouraged from those who did take them.

“I always hear great things about Etymology, which is offered in our World Languages Department,” Mr. Aurich said. “It’s a great way to develop essential reading, writing, and speaking skills because it enhances the ability to acquire new vocabulary effectively.”

Out of the numerous social studies courses, most popular were those relating to the government and U.S. politics.

“I highly recommend [AP U.S. Government & Politics]. I believe in the current political climate it is important for all of us to really understand how our government is structured and how it operates,” Ms. Patel said. “As the future generation of leaders in this country I think having a strong foundation and understanding of our politics is so important.”

Counselors suggest that students must remember to choose classes that will challenge them, but still allow them to succeed.

“Students need be able to carry out their schedules effectively; carefully consider exactly how you will be able manage your schedule while also being fulfilled in other areas of your life outside of the classroom,” Mr. Aurich said.